As a part of my NY Comedy Festival adventures, last night I ventured down to The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn for Hannibal Buress’ weekly comedy showcase. Aside from amazing surprise sets from Mike Birbiglia and Todd Barry, the show’s lineup was packed full of talent and Yeasayer jokes. Buress himself could not attend, but that did not hinder any laughs. Jeffrey Joseph made an awesome emcee, introducing such comics as Del Harrison, Derek Gaines, George Gordon, Rojo Perez, and Victor Varnado.
The show took place in a spacious bar area next door to The Knitting Factory’s main space. With several booths, a few rows of chairs, and plenty of standing room, the show was comfortable. Nice mellow lighting made the bar a cozy spot for mid-November. Another perk of Buress’ weekly show is that it’s free so don’t worry spending money to have a little fun.
The room filled quickly at about 9pm. Approaching the stage to fill the shoes of Hannibal, Jeffrey Joseph began speaking to his audience in Spanish. This audience was confused for a moment, but soon caught on to the joke, which resulted in several more laughs throughout the remainder of his set. Del Harrison was not too shy to come on stage next and describe her past days as a “confident whore,” causing the kind of hilarious tension across the room that only a brave woman could do.
Unexpectedly, Mike Birbiglia showed up for a set, creating a lot of excitement throughout the scene. As always, he was on point, dishing out hilarious material I hadn’t heard before. Two minutes into the Birbigs set, a large camera was rushed into the bar, filming what was referred to by another comedian as Birbiglia’s new documentary. Hopefully, that’s something we can all look forward to.
One highlight of the night was a set from local comedian George Gordon. His delivery was smooth, articulate, and the jokes hit throughout the audience consistently. His joke about the band Yeasayer quickly brought laughs and carried on through to the set of Todd Barry who absolutely killed, playing the crowd and divulging in his naturally funny state.
Varnado’s closing performance was great, commenting on arguments against gay marriage and describing the fun he has as a black-albino man. Quite possibly the funniest albino man I’ve ever known, Varnado recently contributed to the writing of a Marvel comic book. Written by a variety of comedians alongside such The Daily Show writers as Wyatt Cenac and Elliot Kalan, Shame Itself hit comic book stands on November 2nd.